Practice & Procedure
Prior to 2004, for not less than fifty years, plaintiffs were not required to give any further details on the issue of proceedings. The plaintiff was, however, obliged to give the details to the defendant before the trial. It was, (and still is), in the plaintiff’s interest to find out those details and to communicate them to the defendant. Only when the defendant knows these things can the defendant readily agree to settle the claim. Settlement is the best outcome of personal injury litigation; there are insufficient judges to adjudicate on all or most claims for personal injury.
Legal practitioners have a solution to that; plead every conceivable item of loss and, later, waive those that do not apply. Section 10 prevents this; it requires that “full” particulars be pleaded. This implies that the plaintiff cannot issue proceedings until all these losses are accrued and known, or, as mentioned, that items not pleaded cannot later be claimed.
It is very possible for an injured applicant to know nothing of the personal circumstances of a guilty respondent. Even the Injuries Board may know nothing of those circumstances; the Board will carry on correspondence with a lawyer or an insurance company acting for the respondent (who, in their turn, may also not know of the state of health of the respondent).
That will become more difficult without ready access, without quibble, to all the prosecution material, particularly the stuff the prosecutor deems not relevant or necessary to his/her case.
Don’t expect expressions of regret from any participants, or admissions that the changes for which the Minister was responsible have led to this.
“It has become a growing practice for solicitors acting for parties in cases before the courts (and, I would venture to suggest, in particular, the Commercial Court) to copy correspondence to the court. Some lay litigants have adopted the same course.”
Construction may be everything; if the object of criticism thinks the criticism may lower him/her in the estimation of right-thinking members of the community he/she may sue for defamation.
Will Ireland suffer the humiliation of Irish citizens bringing a class action in London for events which happened in Ireland?
We don’t know. The reason we don’t know is that it has not been considered. The question is not one of fact; it is an issue to be decided by Irish society. Irish society has decided the issue already and that is reflected in the status quo. The status quo is this; a civil trial in Ireland is a contest and counsel for the parties will and does decide what and how much evidence should be adduced in a trial.